Bridge Strike

Deville

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Minnesota is a no-fault state too, but there I sat, one week on a jury in a personal injury traffic case where our task was to determine fault.

Your posts prompted me to do a quick Google search of New York City traffic cases. In that no-fault state, it was interesting to see lists of multimillion-dollar awards won by lawyers for their clients who were injured by trucks in New York City.

You can try this yourself. Do a Google search for "New York City Truck Accident Lawyer." Click some of the links that appear and drill down in those sites. You will find many New York City traffic cases where huge awards were won because the truckers were found to be at fault (negligence, gross negligence).

Just as you are not trying to change my mind, I am not trying to change yours. I am simply sharing with all readers our reasons for staying out of New York City. It is of course up to each one to decide about NYC. And as I said above, I laugh at no one for a decision made either way.

Among investors, there is a range of risk tolerances. Some people cannot sleep at night if their money is not fully invested in FDIC-insured bank CD's. Others can sleep like a baby with all of their money invested in commodity futures that can be wiped out with the next news story. Some people are ignorant of the risks -- sometimes intentionally -- and proceed happily along, and some of those get crushed, never understanding what happened or why. It is the same with liability risk management. Some people think about it a great deal. Others think about it not at all.

Diane and I think about it a great deal. That thinking manifests itself in a well-defined risk management strategy. We have a risk-management plan. It is part of our business plan. It directs our choices and behavior in a way designed to minimize the liability risks we subject ourselves to as truck owner-operators.

That sounds like a lot but it's actually quite simple. Short version: Don't drive where it is illegal to drive. Comply with traffic laws. Make every effort to drive safe at all times. Maintain the truck to keep it in safe operating condition.

Our decision is to stay out of NYC because our truck exceeds the legal limit of 35 feet in the five boroughs. In that crazy-streets environment where people drive on the sidewalks, bicyclists grab onto our liftgate to be towed up the street, jaywalkers on cell phones are met by the hundreds, turns are tight, lanes are narrow, the pace is fast, etc., it just seems better to stay out.

If a personal injury accident developed, the victim, not the person, but the victim, - even if he or she was totally at fault - would immediately answer one of the truck accident lawyer ads that are easily found. And when the law firm discovered that an over-length truck was involved and it did not have a permit to be in the city, they would be rubbing their hands with glee.

Not wanting to be some law firm's jackpot, we avoid situations where the likelihood of that happening is increased.

We have other reasons for staying out of New York City, but minimizing our liability exposure is the main one.

You make several valid points. Let me add to that by saying there liabiltily could also extend to the carrier for 1. dispatching a truck that was over length into NYC, allowing an overlength truck to be leased on that carrier that had a NYS registration & is from the NYC area 3. NYS for allowing such a truck to be registred in such a manner that was based out of NYC.

When I leased with FedEx this was the type of truck I drive is the only truck that they would have qualified to accept into the fleet, yet MORE liabilty.

As you said earlier it's about minimizing risk, & risk management. This is why I carry a large amount of commercial truck insurance, & most larger companies will carry larger policies if a scenerio happens that you are describing does happen the parties invloved are covered. I'm more than comfortable with the business decsions I have made regarding my business model.


My point being that a good lawyer on the insurance compay side can shoot down most if not all these claims. & considering that Federal DOT regs state that straight truck length is 40ft it can be argued that federal regs supercede local laws & regulations.


Minny is a no fault state, it's defined as a Quantitative threshold state, where NYS is defined as a Qualitative threshold state. Similar, but both have subtle diffrences.

If I was on the outside looking in such as Phil & Diane I would most likely feel the same way that they do. We as drivers have shared our own experiances good & bad about travelig into various states & city's . My point being NYC isn't as bad as many people make it out to be.
 

ATeam

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Don,thanks for bringing it up, that letter was the rezone for the OP.
there many hidden concerns for truckers in Senator Chuck Schumers letter to Ray LaHood the head of the DOT.

What does this letter say?
 

ATeam

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My point being NYC isn't as bad as many people make it out to be.

There are many beautiful sights in New York City, but none more beautiful than that of a big rig clearing a bridge ahead of you.
 

moose

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What does this letter say?
Why do i needs to do all the Googling around here ?
TheTrucker.com - America's Trucking Newspaper
that letter say truckers are to blame for future bridge strikes in New York, and ask the DOT to come up with a valid prof for it.
it takes the state off the hook for misleading drivers about bridge clearance & setting truckers to fail.
it's ask the DOT via it's NITSA agency to investigate GPS devices used by professional drivers, and how they are related to bridge strikes.
once such study is completed, the state of new york can later on go after drivers, insurance providers, the supply chain, GPS makers Ext. ...
the state will also then ask the Feds to pick up the repair bills, making it an ear mark.
anyone else think a term limit is in order ?
 

usafk9

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Of course there is also the stupidity of the people in charge of the road that simply don't dig the road down when it is repaired to solve the problem completely.


Or can't because of high water table or other sub-surface issues.
 

ATeam

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Here is the full text of the letter and the accompanying press release from Sen. Schumer's office.

Interesting in the good Senator's press release are the numbers he cites. They indicate that the number of bridge strikes has DECLINED in recent years.

Not included in his information is the number of trucks that struck bridges that were driven by people who do not speak or read English.

Also not included is the number of bridge strikes that happened before GPS was widely used in trucks. Maybe GPS has nothing to do with it.

Encouraging in the press release are the words, "Schumer today is calling on The Department of Transportation to investigate these low bridge strikes by commercial truck drivers to determine more about their root cause."

If the root cause is focused on in any study done, it may be learned that technology is neither the problem nor the solution. It might have something to do with driver qualifications and training.

I mean, let's get real. Those parkways and their truck restrictions are as clearly marked as anything can be. At what point does the driver become responsible?

I'm all for better signage and warning lights. A national database that tracks and makes low bridge information available is a good idea. But a bridge is a fixed object and a truck driver is a professional (right?).
 
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moose

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The problem with NY is that they intentionally setting up professional drivers to fail.
they want those drivers to hit those bridges.
there are not many bridges in that state that are correctly marked for truck clearance.
those bridge height signs mean nothing what so ever.
they cannot be trusted and driver are doing the right thing to ignore them.
when NYS shout wolf all the time, there's no rezone to listen any more.
but you are correct with your assessment that most bridge strike happened before GPS came about.
in another press release related to the Sen. letter, NYS fail to make one bridge a wounded warrior. they found a bridge that was hit 59 time from 1993 till 2011. most of which have nothing to do with GPS what so ever, but they still used that data to try & support their claim.
those are 59 family's that probably ended up on some welfare program for doing nothing wrong.
when all the state have to do is informed the drivers of the bridge clearance.
when a truck hit a bridge in new York, the driver is never at fault, the state dose.
simple & clear.
 

zorry

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I heard the end of a news story today. From what little I heard I believe this happened:
Driver comes up to a rural bridge marked 12'6". Three trucks end up stopped to survey the problem. A mini-van strikes and kills someone from one of the trucks.
Did this really happen ?
The truck would have fit; the bridge was improperly marked.
 

Monty

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You could be sitting at a red light, legal in all respects except truck length; and then a drunk mother with a revoked driver's license, driving an uninsured car with a lapsed registration, texting on her cell phone could rear end your truck, killing her baby who was in the car but not properly secured in a baby carrier. You would not have a leg to stand on in court, we believe, because you were not supposed to be in the city in the first place. The jury would side with the loving, caring, unnmarried mother who was deprived of the opportunity to see her child grow up and become the President of the United States.

Amen! It's always that way ..... everywhere an attorney is present.
 

cranis

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Driver
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Chicago, does not warn befroe turning at intersection like most areas do. Then half block down there is a low bridge, and no place to turn around.
 

cranis

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Yes.. I copied than took to FEDEX office and had them enlarget the area I was going to be working in I.E. Bronx and brooklyn.. Since I am there for extendede time.
 

cheri1122

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Paranioa at it's best. he NYPD could care less about the CSA. They most likey don't even know about the CSA. The NYPD will not stand there with a tape messure & messure you're truck. I have only witnessed that once. It was a 53ft tractor trailer in the heart of midtown in the afternoon. That driver was begging to be made an example out of.

It's very trusting of you to assume that because the NYPD has never enforced the law, they never will, but I'm not so sure.
The day some number cruncher discovers the revenue generating possibilities of ticketing every truck that's over length, is the day the NYPD whips out the tape measures
- and when that day comes, I don't plan to be in NYC.
 
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